HURREVAC (short for Hurricane Evacuation) is a storm tracking and decision support tool of the National Hurricane Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the NOAA National Hurricane Center. The program combines live feeds of tropical cyclone forecast information with data from various state Hurricane Evacuation Studies to assist the local emergency manager in determining the most prudent evacuation decision time and the potential for significant storm effects, such as wind and storm surge.
Program access is restricted to officials in government emergency management. As a general rule, if you are the Emergency Manager for a county in the hurricane-prone states (Texas to Maine), in Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands, state Emergency Management Agency, a FEMA office, a Corps of Engineers office, or a National Weather Service office, you are eligible to use the HURREVAC program. The program is distributed free-of-charge to eligible registered users.
HURREVAC tracks hurricanes using the National Hurricane Center's Forecast Advisories. The software translates forecast track and wind extent information from the National Hurricane Center's text-based products into interactive maps and reports that are used to chart the progress of an advancing storm. The program also assembles rainfall, flood, tide, and river forecast information from various sources to assist users in evaluating inland flooding threats.
The most key feature of HURREVAC, however, is its ability to keep to the local emergency manager apprised of how many hours (or days) a community has for preparation and planning in advance of a threatening storm. As new forecast information becomes available, HURREVAC continually updates and reports on the community's Evacuation Start Time, or last possible time by which an evacuation could be initiated if it is to be completed before the arrival of the storm hazards.
The decision to evacuate a community is not always an easy or obvious one and the advantage of fine-tuning your Evacuation Start Time in HURREVAC is that you can base decisions upon the closest (and therefore most accurate) projections for the storm track, intensity, and size.
HURREVAC cannot make the evacuation decision for you. It is merely one tool that you may elect to use to help you in the hurricane decision-making process. Evacuation decisions are very complex and should only be made after consultation with all officials involved in the process, from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, to state and local emergency management officials.